Becci Flitton – Senior Account Manager

Brighton SEO is always a real treasure trove of forward-thinking useful information. Hearing a variety of talks, topics and different perspectives from industry professionals is always so insightful. And it was especially welcome after the past few months to take step back. It’s been a rollercoaster year, which has meant that longer term planning and “business as usual” ways of working were put on hold.

We had to change how we pitch ideas to clients, instead of looking seasonally we began focusing on topics that would be relevant in one to two weeks, but even then, being prepared for any changes. The frequency of updates has meant its more important than ever to act quickly – something we’re set to do at Pace (pun intended).

But the one thing that remained true throughout the year, is that a story that’s not strong enough for press still won’t stand – no matter your contacts and even if it’s positive news in a pandemic.

Sian Elvin, Assistant News Editor at the Metro, reiterated this in a Q&A panel session by stating: “The strength of a story will always be more important than the strength of your relationship with the journalist, if you have a good relationship but the story is weak, they still won’t run it.”

PR isn’t the only place you need to react quickly, you need to have your eye on your site’s SEO performance at all times, being prepared to test out new methods and implementing them before your competitors, can give you huge advantage. Natalie Arney discussed how to ‘punch above your weight’ in SEO in her session: “Keep testing and be adaptable, if something isn’t working remember it is a test and you can move on. Make sure you’re documenting your testing though; it can be great to have on hand to refer back to.”

Consumer reviews are also now more crucial than ever – especially in times of heightened local search. Did you know that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses before making a buying decision?

Daisy Foster from Digitool, shared her sure-fire way to get a constant stream of 5-star reviews (along with a load of Dolly Parton GIFs) in her presentation. “75% of customers are happy to leave a review if the process is easy, but just 13% of small businesses ask for them. Figure out your ‘moment of delight’ – the moment a customer feels most excited about your product and ask for your review then.”

Whilst nobody can predict what the next few months have in store for us, by following these three key take outs you can be in the best position possible to weather any storm:

  1. Get your story out today, not tomorrow – your competitor could have one out tomorrow and you’ll be kicking yourself that you dragged your heels.
  2. Don’t be afraid to go back to basics. The key rules of SEO still stand – good content, good site structure and good trust signals – and if you’re reading a press release thinking it sounds like an advert, a journalist will think the same too.
  3. Stop being afraid to ask for feedback; 90% of consumers think reviews are more important than any other information provided by a salesperson and they make great authentic content.

Want some help on picking up the Pace with your PR and content? We’d be happy to help.